My Lizard brain is exhausting!
Summer holidays .. game over. I’m in the train going to Barcelona, my summer break just finished. A summer with the flavor of salted sea, warm sand, delicious seafood (and paellas), great family time and awesome books. Reading at the beach is one of those worldly pleasures that I truly enjoy.
I red 3 books in my last 3 weeks. The one that connected more with my inner voice was Linchpin, Are you indispensable? I’m an avid reader of Seth Godin blog; this guy is a genius; I love his style and he’s considered a guru of marketing. In my opinion he’s THE reference in marketing and business transformation. Despite of following him during this year (he writes an excellent post every day) I did not have the opportunity to read any of his 14 books …. Until now, and oh-boy!, this book is eye opener. The book starts explaining how we reached the current situation. From the Industrial revolution to the Technology (r)evolution we live now. Seth explains brilliantly how the values we raised are not valid any more. I think he’s right. I grew up in a world where people did what they were told, followed instructions, found a job, made a living…. and the government will provide you a retirement plan, free healthcare …. The deal was a good deal! If I study hard to get a degree and then I work hard … everything will be ok!!! Now it’s not ok anymore. Now retirement plans are at risks, healthcare public money is reduced every year , middle class is becoming a lower class and number of jobs are decreasing. Internet changed everything; now companies can find multiple ways to outsource work to cheaper locations. Now companies can replace most of their employees who are not “special”. Being a hard worker it’s not enough nowadays. We need to evolve to become a Linchpin. And who is a Linchpin? And how can I become a Linchpin? I can transform myself to be a Linchpin by creating connections with my peers, clients and colleagues, by seeing solutions where others see problems, being a do-er, someone that smiles, someone that if necessary will break all the rules to create my own map or a new destiny and more opportunities for my employer.
My favorite chapter in the book is the chapter about the resistance and our Lizard brain. I was already familiar with the concept of Lizard brain as Seth explained this brillanlty in a TED Talk. The Lizard brain is my inner voice that is sabotaging my initiatives. My Lizard brain is hungry, scared, angry and horny. My Lizard brain only wants to eat and be safe. My Lizard brain cares what everyone else thinks, he says everyone will laugh at me, he says Why do you write posts? Your posts are not good, no one will read you. It’s very difficult to reason with my Lizard, it’s as hard as reasoning with my kids that they cannot spend 4 hours playing videogames or watching TV or eating Nutella every day (my Lizard loves Nutella and videogames as well J), the Lizard isn’t listening … and the Lizard doesn’t care. The Lizard it’s sending you continuously message. My Lizard talks a lot!!!! “See, I told you it would never work”, if I do a presentation the Lizard appears again “ You did not do good, you need to listen to me” if there’s a promotion opportunity at work the Lizard will shout “Hey, the other candidates are better than you, they speak better English, they have more qualifications, you are not a genius”
Dear Lizard …. I don’t need more genius, I just need less resistance, please shut up!
it’s tough and it’s very exhausting to talk with my Lizard. However there’s hope, if I train the rest of my brain, the civilized part, the creative part about positive outcome, then my Lizard can be quiet … at least for a few hours. During these holidays I did something I did not do in previous years. I did not check emails. I decided I want to disconnect, I decided I wanted to be focus on my kids and my wife. However this was sooooo difficult … having the email in my pocket most of the day.. just a tap away … it was tough!. Lizard is an addict to work, because Lizard likes the false illusion that if you are all day working/connected everything will be fine, but this is a false illusion. However my Lizard was sending me signals to check my email because something horrible might have happened. I managed to block my Lizard this time, but I’m sure the Lizard will come back. I haven’t checked my email yet …I’ll do it when I arrive at the office … and I really hope nothing went wrong during this time .. otherwise the Lizard will yell at me “I TOLD YOU, YOU SHOULD HAVE CHECKED YOUR EMAIL DURING YOUR HOLIDAYS”